An Early Exponent of Neo-Classicism

[Catalogue d’une Collection de Tableaux & de Desseins des meilleurs Maîtres de France, d’Italie & de Flandre; d’une Collection considérable d’Estampes tant en portefeuille que montées sous des verres blancs d’Allemagne, & de Bronzes, Marbres, Stucs, Bras de cheminée, & Feux dorés d’or moulu du Cabinet de M. Le Lorrain…La Vente se fera le 20 de Mars & jours suivants…].

10 (of 12 pp., lacking title) & two leaves of cont. manuscript annotations. 8vo, 19th-cent. semi-stiff marbled boards (spine rubbed), spine gilt. [Paris: A. Jombert, 1758].

A very rare sale catalogue, priced throughout and with many buyers’ names in a contemporary hand on the interleavings, as well as prices for items “sans numéro” not included in the printed catalogue. Le Lorrain (1715-59), painter, influential furniture designer, and architect, spent his formative years in Rome, where he developed an early Neo-classical architectural style, derived from Piranesi. In 1747, Le Lorrain returned to Paris and secured the patronage of the comte de Caylus. The Russian empress Elisabeth selected Le Lorrain in 1758 as the director of the newly established Academy of Arts at St. Petersburg. As a result, his art collection, here described, was sold. He died shortly after his arrival in Russia.

The printed catalogue describes 106 lots, including 88 paintings by Vouet, La Hire, La Fosse, Coypel, Oudry, Van Loo, Bouchet, Chardin, Vernet, Titian, Rubens, Carracci, Tintoretto, Claude, Guido Reni, etc. The remaining numbered lots are drawings, sculpture, and furniture. The contemporary annotator, however, has crossed out the “Fin” that ostensibly concludes the sale and has added two further leaves with several dozen uncatalogued lots, with prices realized.

Leading dealers and collectors such as Remy, Joullain, Damery, Godefroy, Abbé Le Blanc, Aubry, and Honoré purchased many of the lots.

A nice copy, lacking title-page but detailing the full extent of Le Lorrain’s collection. Bookplate of Georges Pannier (1853-1944), the Parisian art dealer, and bookplate of the Bibliothèque Heim on the recto of the second blank leaf.

❧ C. Bailey, Patriotic Taste: Collecting Modern Art in Pre-Revolutionary Paris, p. 21 & 35. Lugt 995. Oxford Art online–”Le Lorrain’s most influential, if small-scale, achievement was the suite of ebony furniture (1756–8) designed for the collector and courtier Ange-Laurent de La Live de Jully, which marked the introduction of the Neo-classical style of ornament ‘à la grecque’ on items of furniture that are strongly architectural in form.”.

Price: $3,000.00

Item ID: 6489